Bonjour from Provence!
After a generous, fun filled stay with Mirjam in Rotterdam, we headed to the Eastern part of The Netherlands to the town of Enschede to visit even more friends! We met Nicoline and Sander while in Belize last year on our "trial trip" and took them up on their offer to come and stay. While there we toured the countryside by bicycle, shopped at Nicoline's store, visited a Saturday market and played a lot of games with their daughter 4 year old daughter Mara. Again - showered with kindness!
From The Netherlands we headed to Germany for a stay in a castle along the Rhine River. We explored hidden passageways, went for a beautiful hike, ate our fill or Schnitzel and Spatzel, and wandered the rolling hills and forests the country had to offer (a welcome break from the big cities we've been visiting). Oliver spent a good part of the afternoon collecting wildflowers and Emmett built a fort of branches.
Our next stop was Ulm, Germany where we stayed with a giving Servas family, Franz and Renate, who opened their doors to us after we spent an exciting day at Legoland playing and building. We then zipped down the highway to Freiburg where my (Debi's) brother resides during the summer months. We stayed in the city proper for a few nights in a friend's house before heading out to the countryside where Travis lives with a family of 5. Among other things, we celebrated Emmett's 5th birthday, helped feed the cows, picked wild mushrooms, blueberries, and raspberries and had great meals with Tamara, Markus, Mika and the twins.
Today we are ending a glorious week with Keith's entire family outside the small French Provencial town of Cazan. His parents host a reunion somewhere fabulous every two years - a wonderful way to keep the brothers and all of the cousins connected. The beautiful weather has kept us swimming, dining in the cool of the evening with fresh local cuisine and getting to know one another again. What a treat!
Tomorrow we head to Paris to 4 nights, then London for 4 more before returning home. Wishing you all the same blessings at home that have been bestowed upon us here...The Crawfords